18 From the Looks of Things: The Explanatory Failure of Representationalism

In Edmond L. Wright (ed.), The Case for Qualia. MIT Press. pp. 325 (2008)
Representationalist solutions to the qualia problem are motivated by two fundamental ideas: first, that having an experience consists in tokening a mental representation1; second, that all one is aware of in having an experience is the intentional content of that representation. In particular, one is not aware of any intrinsic features of the representational vehicle itself. For example, when you visually experience a red object, you are aware only of the redness of the object, not any redness or red quale of your experience. You are aware of outer red without being aware of inner red. According to the representationalist, the phenomenal character of your experience is just (an element of) the intentional content of your representation. In effect, inner red just is outer red. For her part, the defender of qualia, or anyway the defender of qualia who will figure in the present discussion, grants that experiencing a red object involves mentally representing it, and that when you have such an experience you are aware of its intentional content. But she denies that that intentional content exhausts your awareness. The defender of qualia (call her ‘Quale’) contends that your mental vehicle is itself mentally or phenomenally red, and that in addition to the outer redness of the object, you are aware of this inner redness, the intrinsic phenomenal character of your representational vehicle. Thus, contra the representationalist (call him ‘Rep’), you are not aware of the content of your representation without being aware of its intrinsic features
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 30,370
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Self-Awareness as Conscious Meta-Representation.Sam Nicholson - 2014 - Philosophical Explorations 17 (2):172-187.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Added to PP index

Total downloads
85 ( #63,337 of 2,193,887 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #145,958 of 2,193,887 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature